War Survivors Advisory | #ProtectCiviliansFirst
The War Survivors Advisory aims to reduce the number of civilians trapped, injured, and killed by helping survivors of past wars transfer lifesaving self-protection techniques to civilians at risk of war for the first time.
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A Somali woman and her niece who reacts to her brother off screen. Nairobi, Kenya. (Image: @daniel.j.gerstle)

Welcome: An Introduction and Warning

Thank you for joining us! We at Humanitarian Bazaar created the War Survivors Advisory (WSA) and its #protectciviliansfirst campaign to reduce the numbers of civilians killed and injured in mass violence by helping survivors of past wars transfer lifesaving, non-violent, battle-proven self-protection techniques to civilians at risk of new violence. As you can see on this brand new website, we are in the early research and development phase of the project.

With your support and participation, we will make these living training modules, tools, and guidelines available not just online but to the vast majority of people who need them offline in danger areas. Please note that most of our work here is to provide expertly curated guidelines to surviving very dangerous situations.

That means, we cannot guarantee techniques work in every case as violence can be incredibly dynamic. But also, these guidelines are only starting points to help civilians who have never dealt with this before to get started, so much of our work will not only be to provide training and guidelines, but also referrals to help them find other organizations who can provide the more advanced answers.

Regarding security, we advocate for the protection of civilians on all sides. Alongside that, we do our best to remain politically impartial and must focus our assistance only on unarmed non-combatants and avoid any political or military information in this project. For example, shielding from explosives and gunfire can appear tactical, so we must avoid any military aspects and only address it as it is encountered by unarmed civilians, which is information that any fighting group would already know.

Therefore, we provide here no military or tactical information. Instead, we focus this entire project on the most vulnerable and least political people in any crisis area–children, their mothers, disabled people, elderly, and their care providers. If anyone involved in the project advocates a political position beyond the universal protection of civilians or wields a weapon of any kind, then they will be removed from the project.

Similarly, we do our best to avoid funding from organizations or people participating in violence, relying exclusively on funding from those we believe truly seek peace.

Thank you for your support, participation, and patience as we build this project!

— Daniel J. Gerstle

Founder / Designer